Jo Aiken

PhD Candidate, Researcher (ETHNO-ISS)

University College of London (UCL)

Jo Aiken, Ph.D., is an applied space anthropologist focused on the intersection of organizational culture, design futures, and innovation. As a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she is currently conducting research on innovation practices within NASA and onboard the International Space Station. Before joining UCL’s ETHNO-ISS project, Jo worked as an applied researcher in healthcare, aviation, and aerospace. She has over 20-years of experience at NASA working in various roles from Mission Control to human factors engineering to executive leadership consulting.

Savannah Mandel

Social Anthropologist and Writer,
PhD candidate in Science and Technology

Virginia Tech

Savannah Mandel is an anthropologist whose research has primarily focused on human space exploration. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Florida and an MS in Social Anthropology from University College London. She’s currently a PhD Candidate in Science and Technology Studies at Virginia Tech. Her current research focus is on how technology mediates relationships across long distances, and she intends on doing ethnographic fieldwork with McMurdo Station in the coming years. Some of the topics she has published on include: a cultural addendum to the Drake Equation, lunar imperialism, and the social implications of asteroid mining. 

Dr. Jim Pass



Jim Pass received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1991. At the time, he was focusing on criminology and political economy. However, his interest in space started with Star Trek and NASA’s three programs (especially Gemini and Apollo).

In 2004, he founded the academic field of astrosociology after reading an article by Allen Tough who mentioned astrosociology due to the need to bring the social sciences and humanities more firmly into the space age. He founded the nonprofit organization, ARI, in 2008. Dr. Pass has written extensively on astrosociology and also created the subfields of medical astrosociology and exo-astrosociology, which are designed to complement space medicine and astrobiology.

Most of Dr. Pass’ works are accessible for no charge in the Virtual Library at

Janet Ivey

President, Explore Mars, Inc.

CEO Janet’s Planet, Inc.